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Timor-Leste: Journalists cleared of criminal defamation

    June 02, 2017

    A call for appeals for Raimundos Oki and Lourenco Vicente Martins was sent to the Urgent Action Network on the 12 of October 2016.

    On 1 June, a Dili court cleared Raimundos Oki and Lourenco Vicente Martins of all charges against them. The two Timorese journalists were on trial on criminal “defamatory false information” charges filed by Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister in 2016.

    Raimundos Oki and Lourenco Vicente Martins were cleared of criminal defamation on 1 June by a court in Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital. Prime Minister Rui Aria de Araujo filed criminal charges on 22 January 2016 against the two journalists for “defamatory false information” or “slanderous denunciation” under Article 285(1) of the Timor-Leste Criminal Code over a 2015 article they published about irregularities during the tendering process for a government IT project.

    On 17 May, the lead prosecutor submitted the final charge sheet against the two men. The prosecutor had called for Raimundos Oki to be jailed for one year and for Lourenco Vincente Martins to be given two years ‘probation with the threat of one year imprisonment’ if he recommitted the same offence during that time.

    No further action is requested from the UA network.

    Amnesty International thanks everyone who sent appeals!

    Amnesty International's Urgent Action Network is a community of people who take action—letters, emails, phone calls, faxes and tweets--on emergency cases of human rights abuses around the world. Together, we’ve helped stop torture, halt executions and free prisoners of conscience.

    Learn more here.